Viable job field?

Comments (9)

Kendal in Rogers, Arkansas

60 months ago

I'm a 21 year old female. I graduated from high school with many extracurriculars and a 4.0 GPA (many AP courses as well). I became interested in billing/coding because I want a job with decent pay and working conditions (hospital/office), and I love to exercise my intellect.

I'm enrolled in a course at Petra Allied Health (Arkansas) from June to November that's supposed to teach how to do this. After reading this forum I'm getting rather concerned that it won't be enough training to get a job. I'm paying for this out of pocket, and I want some honest opinions on whether I should think of dropping the course. There are no other schools in my area that offer training for this.

If you think it's not a good idea, what type of career might you suggest for me? I've only worked Wal-mart jobs so far, and want to get far away from that! I'm not much of a people person, don't want a 'physical' job, and would prefer something that I could get into with a 1 year or less certification or course (further training later is fine). Thanks in advance for any help you can give.

valentine in Salt Lake City, Utah

60 months ago

I am much like you, I don't really like working with the general public, I would much rather sit in my area and work undisturbed, that is where coding comes in, it is great for that.

If you want honesty, I have plenty of it. Here is the thing, the field is becoming over saturated with people like yourself, taking a 6-9 month course to obtain their certificate. these types of programs really don't teach you enough to get a coding job. I should know, I took one myself.

You have a couple of options, get a degree in HIM, there are a lot of online programs that offer it, I have heard incredible things about Santa Barbara City College (SBCC)with a degree you have more education and knowledge, plus it opens doors to other things besides coding, and most supervisors are required to have at least an associates degree, so that would lead to more money one day. if you get a degree, sit for either your RHIT or RHIA certifications, most employers want a degree and a cert.

If money is tight, that is fine, you can stay in your certificate course, but be aware that you may have to take a long about road to get to coding. After I graduated with my certificate, I worked front desk, but I volunteered to help out our billing/coding dept and learned alot. I was able to leverage that experience into a medical data entry job, where I learned tons about ICD-9, CPT, billing, insurance, different specialities. I got my CPC and leverage my data entry experience into a true coding job. It took me a couple of years, but I was able to do it. and I have never been unemployed, waiting for the "it job"

So long story short, try to get your foot in the medical field, either by medical records, billing, data entry or even front desk. and work your way up. definitely get some sort of certification. I would only recommend going through AAPC or AHIMA, the others are not really recognized by employers.

I realize this was kinda long, and i hope i made some sense

Kendal in Rogers, Arkansas

60 months ago

You were very helpful! I'm going to be calling some hospitals and physician's offices in my area soon and asking about their requirements, and also looking into SBCC. I'm fine taking a roundabout way to a medical coding job if necessary. Any job in the medical field is going to be a dream come true compared to Walmart, whether it's being a receptionist or data entry. Given how hard I worked in high school, I don't want to be lazy and do things wrong now; I want to get certified and do well in my job field.

Thank you so much for the honesty!

ntraldzigns

60 months ago

does anybody do corrections billing for doctors

Mike in Los Angeles, California

60 months ago

Most Supervisors are not required to have an HIM associates degree. If you have your CCS, CPC, and the required experience, you will do fine. One of our best instructors has a Bachelors Degree in Business and his CPC and his CCS. He is also a well payed Supervisor at a well known Hospital. THE common myth that is filtered through this website is that you are going to get a great paying job as an HIM manager through an associates degree program (NOT THE CASE).
Most HIM programs dont teach you enough to get your CPC or CCS. Would you rather hire a CCS CPC with 5 years of experience to Manage Your Billing/Coding department or an HIM Graduate. Common Sence people. A degree is great but without Certification, it does not mean much.

valentine in Salt Lake City, Utah

60 months ago

Mike in Los Angeles, California said: Most Supervisors are not required to have an HIM associates degree. If you have your CCS, CPC, and the required experience, you will do fine. One of our best instructors has a Bachelors Degree in Business and his CPC and his CCS. He is also a well payed Supervisor at a well known Hospital. THE common myth that is filtered through this website is that you are going to get a great paying job as an HIM manager through an associates degree program (NOT THE CASE).
Most HIM programs dont teach you enough to get your CPC or CCS. Would you rather hire a CCS CPC with 5 years of experience to Manage Your Billing/Coding department or an HIM Graduate. Common Sence people. A degree is great but without Certification, it does not mean much.

I guess we'll have to agree to disagree. I have seen many job postings for managers, and everyone I have seen, requires either an associates or a bachelors.

I agree that often experience is better than education, and maybe I misspoke when i said Required, because it certainly isn't a requirement, but I would say that most large hospital organizations would prefer someone with a degree over someone with experience.

and I think we are both trying to be helpful, offering advice that we have experienced or seen for ourselves.

Mike in Los Angeles, California

60 months ago

I guess what i'm trying to say is that the HIM Directors/Supervisors that I have worked with are also quite proficient in Coding and have obtained Certification. If you dont understand the game of basketball, how can you coach a team. I would advise anyone to get their certification and work experience prior to obtaining an HIM Degree. You will be much more grounded and will have a clear understanding of the process you are Managing. I appreciate your input and would like to hear more. I do enjoy reading your threads.

valentine in Salt Lake City, Utah

60 months ago

Mike in Los Angeles, California said: I guess what i'm trying to say is that the HIM Directors/Supervisors that I have worked with are also quite proficient in Coding and have obtained Certification. If you dont understand the game of basketball, how can you coach a team. I would advise anyone to get their certification and work experience prior to obtaining an HIM Degree. You will be much more grounded and will have a clear understanding of the process you are Managing. I appreciate your input and would like to hear more. I do enjoy reading your threads.

That is the boat I am in now, I am a coder, but to further my career in the HIM field, I am finding I need a degree. which is crazy because I have over 5 years of experience, but that seems to be the hoop that must be jumped through. So now I am thinking of going back to school and I would hope that my prior experience will help me in my future pursuits.

I agree that it helps to have the coding background (from what i have read, coding seems to be a pretty minimal part of the HIM degrees)because if the codes are not correct, the money does not come in.

i love having discussions about coding, i seriously find it so interesting.

mitra80 in Bentonville, Arkansas

46 months ago

Hi Kendal,

I recently moved to Rogers, Arkansas and thinking about doing a medical billing and coding certificate program. Since you live( hopefully still) in the same area, I was wondering what did you do at last? Where did you take your coding classes? What did you find out about the requirements of the local hospitals and physician's office? Did you get a job here? I am very interested to know about everything you have experienced in last 13 months. Don't know if this post will reach you or not. If it does, please answer me. Thanks in advance.

Kendal in Rogers, Arkansas said: You were very helpful! I'm going to be calling some hospitals and physician's offices in my area soon and asking about their requirements, and also looking into SBCC. I'm fine taking a roundabout way to a medical coding job if necessary. Any job in the medical field is going to be a dream come true compared to Walmart, whether it's being a receptionist or data entry. Given how hard I worked in high school, I don't want to be lazy and do things wrong now; I want to get certified and do well in my job field.

Thank you so much for the honesty!

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